Jenkins, Joyce dismissed from team
The college careers of USF defensive backs Mark Joyce and JaQuez Jenkins have ended two games prematurely.
Coach Willie Taggart announced Tuesday the seniors, both of whom were suspended for Friday's loss at UCF due to an undisclosed team violation, have been dismissed from the program. Both are set to graduate in December, he added.
"They've done a lot for our football program and unfortunately made a mistake and they've got to deal with their mistake," Taggart said.
"We're trying to change a culture in our entire football program to one that is total commitment to the football team and winning, and we will. There are consequences that come with anything that counters that. And those consequences will be paid."
Neither player's name appeared in a local arrest-records search. In a text message to the Tampa Bay Times, Jenkins declined to comment specifically on the dismissal.
"I respect the decision, wish the best for Coach and the team," Jenkins texted. "It was a decision he had to make for the betterment of the team."
Joyce, a safety, started the first 10 games. He recorded 53 tackles and two interceptions, both of which came in the Bulls' 26-20 victory against Cincinnati.
Jenkins, a former Lakewood High standout, spent time at both safety and cornerback. In seven games he totaled 24 tackles including a career-best nine against Louisville.
Taggart said the team expressed surprise at the dismissals but understood. "They understood from Day One when I got the job," he said.
"I told all of our guys, 'This is the way we're gonna do it. There's no wavering. I'm not interested in anyone else's way. This is the way we're gonna do it, and you all either buy in or buy out.'"